Congress Returns 1/3/18 - Tell Them to Repeal the Therapy Cap!
On 1/1/18, the Medicare therapy cap exceptions process expired.  While we had been pushing hard for action before the 12/31/17 deadline, Congress recessed on 12/22 without acting on the bipartisan, bicameral agreement for a permanent fix to Medicare therapy cap.  They also failed to enact a temporary patch or extension of the current exceptions process.  As a result, a hard cap of $2,010 on outpatient therapy services (PT/SLP combined) will apply, beginning on 1/1/18.  A separate hard cap of $2,010 will be applied to outpatient OT services.

The congressional champions of the therapy cap repeal had led us to believe that Congress would introduce and pass an omnibus Medicare extenders bill in early December which would have included the therapy cap permanent fix.  Instead, Congress was focused on tax reform legislation and pushed nearly all other issues to 2018.  Just before recessing, Congress passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government open through 1/19/18.  We requested that our champions add the therapy cap fix to this spending bill, but congressional leadership chose to include only a select few items, most notably the temporary funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

As many of you know, this has happened in previous years and together we have been able to fix it in January!  In years past when Congress failed to act, CMS asked providers to hold all claims until Congress enacted a fix.  The fix was then retroactively applied to January 1 of that year.  We have not been able to secure an assurance that will be the case this time, but will continue to seek clarification from CMS.

Congress returns to Washington January 3rd, and they must adopt the next federal spending bill by January 19th. We are hopeful that Congress will quickly address the therapy cap this month; however, given the current environment on Capitol Hill nothing is certain.  So everyone needs to remind Congress how important this is!  Continue here to send an email to your Senators and Congressperson supporting a permanent repeal of the Medicare PT/OT/SP therapy caps. Or call their local office! Or post to their social media!  Be sure to customize the first sentence of the email.  There is already a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to permanently repeal the therapy cap-Congress just needs to pass it. 
 
Together we can make a difference.
 
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